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Buddha Brothers



 Chapter X - DANDA VAGGA - The Rod of Punishment




Yo dandena adandesu appa dutthesu dusati
Dasannam annataram thanam khippam eva nigacchati.

Vedanam pharusam janim sarirassa ca bhedanam
Garukam va' pi abadham cittakkhepam va papune.

Rajato va upassaggam abbhakkhanam va darunarn
Parikkhayam va natinam bhoganam va pabhanguram.

Atha v'assa agarani aggi dahati pavako
Kayassa bheda duppanno nirayam so'papajjati.

He who does harm with weapons to those who are harmless1 and should not be harmed will soon suffer any of these ten evil consequences. [137]

He will be subject to acute pain,2 disaster, bodily injury, or even grievous sickness, or loss of mind, or oppression by the king, or heavy accusation, or loss of relatives, or destruction of wealth,3 or ravaging fire that will burn his house. Upon the dissolution of the body the fool will be reborn in hell. [138-140]

X: 07 Untimely death of Venerable Moggallana

Once, the Nigantha ascetics planned to kill Venerable Moggollana because they thought that by doing away with him, the fame of the Buddha would also be diminished. So they hired some assassins to kill Moggallana who was staying at Kalasila near Rajagaha at that time. The assassins surrounded the monastery; but Moggallana got away by using his supernormal power. Thus, they could not kill him for two whole months. When the assassins again surrounded his dwelling place during the third month, Moggallana, recollecting that he had yet to pay for the evil deeds* done by him during one of his past existences, did not exercise his supernormal power. So the assassins caught him, and beat him up. After that, they left his body in a bush, thinking that he was dead. But through his jhanic power he revived himself and went to pay his last respects to the Buddha at the Jetavana monastery. But his revival was temporary because the beating was so severe that he knew he was not going to live much longer. He informed the Buddha that he would soon attain parinibbana (final release from the earthly existence). However, before his parinibbana the Buddha asked him to expound the Dhamma to the congregation of bhikkhus, as that would be the last time they would have the opportunity to listen to his preaching. So Moggollana expounded the Dhamma and left after paying homage to the Enlightened One. He passed away soon after.

The news of the passing away of Moggallana at the hands of assassins spread like wild fire. King Ajatasattu ordered his men to investigate and arrest the culprits. The assassins were caught and sentenced to death. The bhikkhus felt very sorrowful over the death of Moggallana, and could not understand why such a personage like him should die at the hands of assassins. The Buddha explained, 'Bhikkhus! Considering that Moggallana had lived a noble life in this existence, he should not have met with such a death. But in one of his past existences, he had done a great wrong to his own parents, who were both blind. In the beginning, he was a very dutiful son, but after his marriage, his wife poisoned his mind and suggested that he should get rid of his parents. He took his blind parents in a cart into a forest, and there he killed them by beating them and making them believe that it was some thieves who were beating them. For that evil deed he suffered for a long time; and in this existence, his last birth, he has died at the hands of assassins. Indeed, by doing wrong to those who should not be wronged, one is sure to suffer more for it.'


  1. Namely, the Arahants who are weaponless and innocent.
  2. That might cause death.
  3. Loss in business transactions, loss of wealth, etc.
  4. * Even Arahants must pay for whatever serious evil deeds that they have done during their previous births as long as their physical body exists. The Buddha's sickness (like the dysentery he suffered from) were also the effects of residual past bad kamma. However, although they suffer from past bad kamma they cannot create any new kamma after becoming Arahants.


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This webpage was updated 1st July 2022